Believe it or not, division 1 college student-athletes have a lot more power than you think. The power they have comes from the enormous revenues they bring to their school and the NCAA. The NCAA is a billion-dollar industry. The NCAA relies on the participation of its student-athletes. So what happens when these student-athletes decide to sit out, protest, or boycott? Well, in 2016 at the University of Missouri after multiple racist incidents occurring on the campus the university’s football team said they would boycott football activities and all related activities until the school’s chancellor Tim Wolfe be either fired or resigned. Two days after the boycott began Tim Wolfe stepped down. This is just one example of student-athletes using their power. More recently this past weekend the football players of the PAC-12 conference came together to create a list of demands powered by the hash tag #WEAREUNITED. The demands speak to player safety, COVID testing, and paying the student-athletes.
These demands seem urgent and imperative and present questions of what does this mean for college athletics? Will other conferences join in the movement? And, what is the future of the NCAA? Only time will tell, but I think we will find out more very soon because college football teams begin training camp at the end of this week.